“Remember Me,” directed by Allen Coulter, recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary in March. This romantic drama takes a different approach to storytelling and aims to explicitly shock viewers. “Remember Me” stars Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan and has appearances from Chris Cooper and Ruby Jerins. This film focuses on Tyler Hawkins, played by Pattinson, and his struggle to deal with an unexpected intimate family loss. The trauma caused by this significant tragedy creates rifts throughout the Hawkins family leading to new-found relationships.
A big focus of the film is Coulter’s ability to shift real-world situations into a dramatic and intriguing story. The reality of most of these situations leaves most of the characters in a miserable state. Bullying, suicide, violence and neglect are the leading causes of the recurring themes of sadness and grief throughout the film. Coulter builds these up throughout the film through characters’ interactions, and makes them more apparent as the narrative swiftly moves toward mending relationships and unexpected death.
The story flows nicely because of how the family is initially introduced through divorce and other family relations, which helps the viewer understand the characters’ dynamics later in the film. This shows how differently people handle grief and each of the actors do a decent job expressing these variations.
For the execution of this deep-rooted story to work, the actors had to portray a variety of emotions. As the lead role, Pattinson had an important task to show the audience how deeply grief affects us, and he did so perfectly. In different scenes throughout the film, Pattinson approaches a variety of situations with happiness, anger, frustration, and defensiveness through his acting that ultimately demonstrates how his character has a hold on the grieving process. Tyler’s interactions with the other characters throughout the film also built up the central theme of grief and provided a deeper look into the complexities of trauma. Pattinson’s role represents the linchpin for all the characters around him whom he impacts, which is key to steering the film in the right direction.
Brosnann effectively portrays a grieving parent who has given up after losing a child and is emotionally unavailable to his other children. Cooper demonstrates his character’s grief by attaching himself to his daughter, the opposite grieving mechanism of Brosnan’s character, and leans toward another escape for harsh emotions — alcoholism. Each of the characters is unique in their own way, but the ability of the actors ultimately stitched together all the major themes of the film.
“Remember Me” is not for the lighthearted and is not a film that should be considered just another love story. Coulter steps back and takes an approach to dramatic experiences in a way that puts adversity into perspective. Despite the efforts put into creating this film, it is not complete. From an artistic standpoint, the film accomplishes its purpose, but it can be seen as unanticipated as a general audience member. The abrupt ending holds the key to the rest of the film and ultimately makes or breaks the audience’s reaction towards the story that led up to it.
The two hour and eight-minute film spent every second setting up the ending, which ultimately starts around the hour and 40-minute mark. Once the audience gets a hint of the situations at hand, the harsh reality sets in, and the entire story feels as if it were for nothing. It might seem as though “Remember Me” is not satisfying, but it is worth the risk of watching solely because of the underlying messages that present themselves.